gluten-free recipe vegetables vegetarian

Beet and Quinoa Salad w. Feta + Tahini Dressing

31 May 2013

I’m writing this as I sit on the ferry going north, watching the Northern California landscape jolt past the windows. I sat for a bit outside in the sun with my requisite Blue Bottle drip until the wind drove me inside. It’s a gorgeous day to be out on the water, and though the lack of rain is sorely lamented I cannot help but appreciate this dry and sunny winter/spring we’ve had — this, my last winter/spring in California for awhile.

Meanwhile, thanks to the magic of the Internet and smart phones, I can tell you about this salad. The idea grew out of a long weekend full of many meals out, lots of cheese, and a chocolate milkshake and onion rings (!) consumed while watching a Giants game from a diner in Emeryville. My body was screaming at me to feed it vegetables and whole grains, and so I happily obliged.

Anyway, it’s not like eating quinoa and beets is a hardship for me — in fact it’s quite the opposite. Nor did I necessarily feel like I was eating ‘health food’ when I gobbled this salad up for lunch two days in a row. It just was what I wanted and needed, and all that protein and fiber and other good stuff was simply an added bonus.

Yes, there’s a bit of feta here but I think you could do fine without if that’s your inclination; I also recommend making large batches and stashing them in your fridge for work lunches or a quick dinner when you’re pressed for time. Along with some good bread and hummus or a piece of baked fish you’ll be satisfied and full for hours (I will note I ate my portions unaccompanied by anything else and was quite pleased).

Summer looms, and I am soaking up these late spring days as much as possible. Another argument for the make-ahead meal: you can down as many hours as you can manage out-of-doors and tumble home tanned and sunned out with nary a qualm about what’s for dinner.

Well–just a thought.